Salt Lake Stadium

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Salt Lake Stadium
সল্ট লেক স্টেডিয়াম
Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK)
(বিবেকানন্দ যুবভারতী ক্রীড়াঙ্গন)
Salt Lake Stadium Indian Super League Opener.jpg
Salt Lake Stadium
Location Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Coordinates 22°34′08″N 88°24′33″E / 22.56889°N 88.40917°E / 22.56889; 88.40917Coordinates: 22°34′08″N 88°24′33″E / 22.56889°N 88.40917°E / 22.56889; 88.40917
Owner Indian Football Association
Capacity 85,000[1]
Record attendance 131,781[2] (Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal,
13 July 1997)
Field size 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface (1984–2011) Grass
(2011–2015) Astro-turf
(2015–present) Grass
Opened January 1984; 33 years ago (1984-01)
Renovated 2011, 2014,[3] 2016-17
Architect M/S. Ballardie, Thompson & Matthews Pvt. Ltd.;
M/S. H.K. Sen & Associates
India national football team (since 1984)
Mohun Bagan A.C. (since 1984)
East Bengal F.C. (since 1984)
Atlético de Kolkata (since 2014)
Mohammedan S.C. (since 1984)

Salt Lake Stadium, officially known as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK),[4] is a multipurpose stadium in Bidhannagar, Kolkata, West Bengal, with a capacity of 85,000.[1] It is the largest stadium in India by capacity.[1][5] Before its renovation in 2011, it was the second largest football stadium in the world, having a seating capacity of 120,000.[6] Prior to the construction and opening of Rungrado May Day Stadium in 1989, it was the largest football stadium in the world. Reportedly, a total of 85,000 bucket seats[7] have been installed in the stadium for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in India.[8] The capacity of the stadium has been increased from 68,000 to 85,000 for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The stadium will host the final match of the U-17 World Cup, alongside hosting other matches of the tournament.[9][7]

The stadium's record attendance was recorded in 1997 when 131,781 spectators watched the Federation Cup Semifinal between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.[2]

The stadium recently switched back to natural grass from artificial turf as part of the preparations for hosting the U-17 World Cup in 2017. The new turf was unveiled in a Kolkata Derby match between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan during the 2015–16 Calcutta Premier Division match.[10]


The stadium was established in 1984 because the club grounds in the Maidan area, each with capacity around 20,000, were proving too small for the huge crowd that occupied the grounds on matchdays. And while the Eden Gardens was there to handle some of the bigger games, like the Kolkata Derby, the pressure of handling both cricket and football was proving to be a bit too much for the stadium.[11]

The stadium is situated approximately 10 kilometres to the east of the Kolkata downtown. The roof is made of metal tubes and aluminum sheets and concrete. The stadium was inaugurated in January 1984. There are two electronic scoreboards and control rooms. The lighting is uniformly distributed to facilitate night kick-offs. There are special arrangements for TV broadcasting.[12]

The gigantic stadium features three tiers of concrete galleries. There are countless[clarification needed] ramps and stairs that go out of the stadium like spokes on a bicycle wheel. There are a total of six gates (gate no 1–5 and VIP gate).[11]

The stadium covers an area of 76.40 acres (309,200 m2). The stadium has a unique[citation needed] synthetic track for athletic meets. It has a main football arena measuring 105 by 70 metres (344 ft × 230 ft). It also houses electronics scoreboards, elevators, VIP enclosures, peripheral floodlighting arrangement from the roof-top, air-conditioned VIP rest room, conference hall and much more. The stadium has its own water arrangements and standby diesel generation sets.[12]

Football matches[edit]

Yuva Bharati Krirangan during Atlético de Kolkata vs FC Goa match on 10 December 2014

After its inauguration in January, 1984 with the Jawaharlal Nehru International Gold Cup, the Salt Lake Stadium has hosted several important international tournaments and matches such as matches of the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification in 1985, Super-Soccers in 1986, 1989, 1991 and 1994, 3rd South Asian Games in 1987, USSR Festival Cup in 1988, Charminar Challenger Trophy in 1992 and the Jawaharlal Nehru International Gold Cup in 1995.

The Salt Lake Stadium hosts the home games of the local clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal who play in the I-League. It also hosts the games of Mohammedan S.C., who currently play in the 2nd Division I-League. Many of the home games of the Indian Team are also played in the Salt Lake Stadium. Since 2014 a new tenant team Atlético de Kolkata (playing in the ISL) has made the stadium their home ground.

Aerial view of the Yuva Bharati Krirangan

On June 5, 2011 FIFA scheduled a friendly match to be played at the Salt Lake on 2 September 2011. The match was played between Argentina and Venezuela. This was a historic occasion in the history of Indian football and also for the stadium as the match featured Argentine superstar Lionel Messi. [13][14] The stadium has also hosted Oliver Kahn's official farewell match for Bayern Munich when they played a friendly match against Mohun Bagan. Bayern Munich won the match 3–0.[15] In December 2012, a friendly match was played between Brazil Masters and IFA All Stars. Brazil Masters won it 3-1. Beto scored twice and Bebeto scored one goal for Brazil Masters.[16]

On 12 October 2014, the stadium hosted the first match in the Indian Super League, preceded by an opening ceremony which featured superstars from the footballing world as well as from Bollywood. In the opening match, Atlético de Kolkata defeated Mumbai City FC 3–0.[17] The stadium hosted its last match of the inaugural edition of ISL on 14 December where Atlético de Kolkata played FC Goa in the first leg of the semi-finals. Salt Lake stadium was the only stadium among the eight venues of ISL where matches were allowed to be played on artificial turf.

Some major international football matches played at the Salt Lake Stadium are listed as below:

Other uses[edit]

The stadium also hosts important athletic events. It has hosted the SAF Games in 1987 and various national athletics events in India. The stadium also hosts different kinds of cultural programs such as dance and music concerts.


The stadium lies on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, so it is easily accessible by road. A metro station on the East-West Corridor on the Kolkata Metro is currently being constructed.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK), Kolkata". Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Bhaskaran, K. (19 July 1997). "Beneath the box office lurks hidden danger". Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "Yuva Bharati Krirangan (Salt Lake Stadium)". Retrieved 8 May 2016. .
  4. ^ "FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 - Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan -". Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  5. ^ "Transformed and shrunk Saltlake Stadium ready for ISL". Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "The 10 largest football stadiums in the world". Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Kolkata possible host for U-17 World Cup Final: FIFA". The Statesman. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের ঘাস পোঁতা শুরু হল যুবভারতীতে". Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Match Schedule - FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "Salt lake stadium to get natural turf". Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Stadium stories for the VYBK". Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Yuva Bharati Krirangan: West Bengal Sports Department". Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  13. ^ "Lionel Messi arrives in Kolkata for friendly match against Venezuela". Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  14. ^ "Venezuela vs Argentina match report". Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Bayern wins 3–0 against Mohun Bagan". Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Brazil masters win 3–1 against IFA All Stars". Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  17. ^ "Ex-Liverpool stars Luis Garcia and Josemi start as Atlético de Kolkata win first ISL clash against Mumbai City". Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c d "Nehru Cup 1984". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  19. ^ a b c d "1984 AFC Asian Cup Qualifier". RSSSF. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  20. ^ a b c "FIFA World Cup 1986 Qualifying". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  21. ^ a b c "1987 S.A.F. Games". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  22. ^ a b "1992 AFC Asian Cup Qualifier". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  23. ^ a b "Nehru Cup 1995". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  24. ^ "2007 AFC Asian Cup Qualifier". RSSSF. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  25. ^ "Argentina beat Venezuela in Kolkata friendly". Zeenews Sports Bureau. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Estadio Azteca
Largest football stadium in the world
January 1984 – May 1989
Succeeded by
Rungrado May Day Stadium
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Estadio Sausalito
Viña del Mar
FIFA U-17 World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by